Monday, December 17, 2012

F-35: Price continues to drop

It is fair to acknowledge that the price of an F-35 is still not in the range of some 4th generation fighters, but then two things should be considered - (1) it's not a 4th generation fighter and (2) DoD has chosen a "low initial production rate" or LRIP approach which negates many of the economies of scale full production will bring.  Despite that, the price continues to drop:
Each of the 22 conventional takeoff and landing jets in the fifth production contract will cost around $107 million, excluding the engine, said the sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

That compares to a price of $111.6 million for the F-35As to be used by the Air Force that were included in the fourth contract with Lockheed.
When full production finally kicks in we should see the price of an F-35 drop to the point of competitiveness with any 4th gen plane while having much more, in terms of advanced capability, than any of them can offer.


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